Guns can prevent tragedies

On April 16, a horrible tragedy occurred on the campus at Virginia Tech. A lone gunman killed 32 people in a shooting spree. While everyone had the same emotional response (extreme sorrow), several people had another response: gun control. Within four hours of the tragedy, every news channel I watched was talking about whether this proves that we as a society have too much access to guns. I also had a response of outrage toward the law, but it was very different. I wondered how the legislators in Virginia could sleep at night knowing they allowed VA Tech to prohibit guns on campus.

As the chairman of Students for Second Amendment Rights at Northern Kentucky University, I’m very familiar with the law as it applies to firearms. I stay very up-to-date on what is happening here in Kentucky, as well as across the country. In Virginia, as well as 47 other states, it is possible for a law-abiding citizen, with a license, to carry a concealed firearm. But in Virginia, every university is allowed to prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms. In 2006, House Bill 1572 was introduced to change this. The bill was defeated. Because of this, VA Tech was recently able to write a policy prohibiting firearms. Larry Hincker, from VA Tech’s Public Relations office, commented, “This will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus.” The sad truth is, it may have made people feel safe, but it did not actually make them safe. If anything, it made them less safe.

Imagine if one student in Norris Hall was allowed to carry a concealed firearm. Perhaps even the RA who was killed in West Ambler Johnston Hall could have used a legally carried firearm to make sure that no one had died in this horrible tragedy. Unfortunately, the administration at VA Tech and the legislators in the Commonwealth of Virginia failed the students and prevented the very real possibility of ending this tragedy early. Kentucky is the same way, and the policy here at NKU is vague. I would like to call on our administration to make it clear that we as students can exercise our right to defend ourselves, and to prevent a tragedy like the one at VA Tech from happening here.

Eric Cranley chairman of NKU’s Students for Second Amendment Rights